Crikey: Microsoft, Startpage, Facebook and Israel

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Despite having an appalling cold for the last ten days, I managed to knock off four articles for Crikey this week. I haven’t been linking to them in individual posts here — should I? — but here they are now.

If any of the stories are currently behind Crikey‘s paywall, you can either sign up for a free 3-week trial or wait until they emerge from the paywall two weeks after their original publication date.

Now as I say, I haven’t been creating a post here for every Crikey article of every Patch Monday podcast. I figure that if you’re interested you’ll subscribe directly to those RSS feeds, and in any event I always mention them in my Twitter stream. But what you you prefer? A brief mention here and a link to the piece, as individual posts? An end-of-week summary like this? Some sort of “Stilgherrian master feed” that combines everything from here, my new Posterous stream and my Flickr photos? What say you?

Visiting Microsoft HQ to talk security: what should I ask?

I’m off to America! Some tin-pot little IT start-up called Microsoft has invited me to visit their headquarters in Redmond, Washington (pictured) to find out what they’re doing about security, and in particular their Trustworthy Computing initiatives.

Now if you’re a crusty old network administrator like me, you may think that “Microsoft” and “security” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. A decade ago I was building Linux-based firewalls and, like so many people doing the same, I referred to Windows-based computers as “the targets”. And certainly the vast majority of the world’s malware is targeted at Windows.

But I’ve always though that the simplistic “Windows is bad, m’kay” was a bit, well, simplistic. Information security isn’t just about the technology, it’s also about people. Human factors are also the weakest link. And over the years I’ve found that people who throw around those tired platform-wars slogans usually aren’t up to date when it comes to the things they love to hate.

So, I’m off to Redmond later this month to spend three days with some of Microsoft’s engineers and developers, including briefing sessions with senior executives from Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group.

Continue reading “Visiting Microsoft HQ to talk security: what should I ask?”